I seem to have accidentally cast on for a new project this weekend. As you know, I had my current knitting scheme all planned out. Cast on for the secret project once Juneberry came off the needles (or blocking wires, as the case may be), and finish up the last Kai-Mei sock so that I can start Hallett's Ledge. Instead, I have this lovely little piece that is all I have touched since Saturday afternoon.
It's really not my fault. I swear, J was being a lovely husband and how was I supposed to resist? We went for a walk along the lake and then finished up by swinging by my LYS on the way home (it's a 10 minute walk from the apartment - very dangerous!). Naturally, we looked in the sock yarn room and there on the wall was a new shipment of Handmaiden casbah. This skein of beautiful semi-solid mossy green just leapt into my hand and wouldn't let go. When the DH insisted that we take it home with us, who was I to say no?
So I happily cast on for Pea Vines, Anne Hanson's latest shawl. I love this yarn so much that I happily cast on for the shawl three times. I frogged the first one because I decided I wanted a stretchier cast on than the long-tail cast on that I had used. I frogged the second one because I didn't like the look of the pattern coming straight off of the knitted cast on that I switched to. The third time, I combined the knitted cast on with a purl row immediately afterwards but before starting the chart. It looks like the third time's the charm and I'm much happier.
I also tried a new decrease technique that I learned over the weekend. It's an alternate method of working ssk that actually mirrors a k2tog - no ladder steps at all! The trick: slip the first stitch as if to knit (just like normal), but slip the second stitch as if to purl. It makes all the difference.
Take a look at this interview with Jared Flood on Knitting Daily TV to learn more: